Asian Nations Cautious About the U.S. Back in TPP

Japan, Australia, and New Zealand were cautious in their reaction to the news that U.S. President Trump might reopen talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. An Associated Press report says Japanese officials welcome the move if it means Trump is recognizing the importance of the agreement. New Zealand’s Trade Minister says his country isn’t blind to the benefits of trading with the world’s largest economy. However, David Parker says U.S. participation is theoretical, because “it’s not clear yet how real this is, given the different views to the administration.”

Parker’s Australian counterpart warns that there won’t be a lot of interest in substantial renegotiation among the 11 countries in TPP. The agreement puts agricultural exporters in the agreement at an advantage over their American counterparts, and the Australian Minister says, “I think that’s one of the reasons why the United States is taking a second look at possibly rejoining the TPP.”